SCRIPTORIUM UNIVERSITY OF ST ANDREWS
The Saint Andrews Scriptorium was founded in 2019. Partnering with All Saints Church, The Scriptorium quickly became a hub of Christian scholarship and community, meeting every Thursday from 9:30-5:30, with dozens of attendees from all disciplines in the university. Scholars ate, prayed, studied, and relaxed together, spurring each other on to more excellent scholarship and a more joyful faith. During the Covid19 pandemic, the scriptorium continued to meet over Zoom, joining with the Edinburgh Trinity Forum.
The Scriptorium is not designed to add yet another commitment to already busy lives, but is instead to help post graduates focus on their scholarly vocation in an atmosphere of friendship, prayer, encouragement, and accountability. The study days will be punctuated by tea & coffee breaks as well as lunch, all of which is provided, and book-ended by short sessions of prayer and reflection beginning and ending the day. This outreach meets a keenly felt need in the postgraduate population for structure and a community of like-hearted scholars, and creates a pool of post graduates to invite for future Trinity Forum Events.
St Andrews Scriptorium Testimonials
Scriptorium has been a great blessing this semester! Our weekly days together have consistently proven to be my most reliably productive days each week, as one might expect from such a dedicated, structured environment. Paradoxically, however, those same days also turn out to be the days when I experience the greatest camaraderie with my colleagues, thereby showing that fellowship and scholarship need not exclude each other. Finally, the attitude of spiritual dedication and worship that informs the day, from the opening prayers in the morning to the closing blessings at nightfall, really helps me to align my work with larger concerns beyond simply my trying to finish a project or a degree. Thanks for providing this opportunity!
- David Morely, doctoral candidate researching Literature
Scriptorium has been a life-giving game-changer for me. Taking time to position my research in the context of Christian vocation and community has breathed both life and rhythm into my research. I have been enriched by the conversations I've had there and benefited from the appointed time set apart (making it easier to say "no" to other demands). Scriptorium has truly blessed my work this fall.
- Kimberly Drage, researcher in Business, Vocation, and Faith
Scriptorium has been a gift of immeasurable worth to me in both my academic pursuits, and in the development of my own sense of personal fellowship. I have been astonished by how much my writing output has been transformed by the disciplined structure of each Scriptorium day, and how the interspersion of friendship, food, and prayer has heartened and enlivened me in my work. Whereas before this semester, I thought I might be an occasional visitor to Scriptorium, perhaps three or four times a semester, since then it has become an orienting point around which my week turns. It is a lifeline which I anticipate with excitement every week. I can't express how grateful I am for it, and for the way that Joy has led it as well. In lesser hands I'm not sure it would have achieved the effect it has for me and for others. Joy is uniquely well-suited to lead this group and bring goodness to bear through her many thoughtful ways of contributing to our experience, from the food we eat, to the prayers and readings we have at the beginning and end of each day. This is a resource which is transforming my academic and personal life here in St Andrews, and not only do I hope it continues, I hope that it expands to more days of the week!
- Joel Clarkson, doctoral candidate researching Music
As a PhD candidate at the University of St Andrews, I have found the dissertation writing process to be a rather solitary endeavour. Although family and friends are supportive, writing a thesis is a rather unique enterprise, and I have found my best supportive community to be fellow doctoral students. Being part of Scriptorium this term has allowed us a regular time of what a friend calls 'embodied solidarity' - time spent in the presence of others with the same focus, if vastly different subject material. Besides weekly dedicated writing time in silence (which has allowed me to make and meet generous goals), the break and lunch times have been an unexpected but beneficial time to both decompress and share ideas and progress with colleagues, which has in turn strengthened my work. The value of this dedicated community cannot be understated, and I am grateful for your support both of this project and of Joy's leadership.
- Sarah Moerman, doctoral candidate in Theology
The Scriptorium has been a highlight of my week. I think the best learning takes into account the needs of the entire person, but us academics tend to focus on the life of the mind at the expense of our physical, social, and spiritual needs.
The Scriptorium is not just time to study, but it’s studying within a community of scholars. It’s the work of the mind balanced with sharing coffee, lunch, prayer, conversation, and the occasional walk. I’m quite grateful for it, and believe it’s enriched my scholarship and my weekly routine.
James Smoker, doctoral candidate in Theology